Weeding By Example

New Orleans' City Park was once one of the best urban parks in America. But after Hurricane Katrina flooded it, the city abandoned it.

"It just bothered me that it didn't look good," says Jack McShane.

"These are things adults are supposed to take care of," says CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman in this week's Assignment America.

"Well, nobody was doing it, so I had to do it," he said.

Just about every weekend, no matter how hot and miserable it gets, you'll find this 13-year-old boy somewhere on City Park's 1,300 acres, mowing all morning.

"We love Jack," says John Hopper, the volunteer coordinator at City Park. "He is definitely, without a doubt, the most consistent volunteer that we have at that age group."

Jack also recruits other volunteers into his grassroots mowing club called the Mow-Rons.

"Our original slogan was 'The Mow-Rons are in City Park, the idiots are at City Hall,'" says Jack, "but we kind of changed it because it was a little bit inappropriate."

Click hereto learn more or make a donation
Their new slogan is "Weeding By Example," and Jack has certainly done that.

Patrick McShane says he never really taught his son anything about community service.

"That's not been my strength," he says. "After the storm, I've learned more about the importance of volunteerism, and I've learned it right here at home from my own son."

The Mow-Rons are now an official, non-profit charity and have already purchased a dozen mowers. Each week they clear a little more of City Park and bring a little more of New Orleans back to life.

"It's really great to see that, because people are having fun in the park again," says Jack.

But does Jack keep his parents' lawn looking great, too? "No way," says Pat.

Guess no one ever said charity ends at home, though Patrick says that all things considered, he doesn't mind picking up the slack.

  • Michelle Singer

Comments